Coffee Log, Day 262

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium-Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand; the last brew of the batch, kind of sad, kind of frustrating, kind of capitalist – grocery store, here I come.

There’s specific calm to petting a cat’s fur on cold mornings. He rolls around. He’s been hunting bees and birds before they hide away in Winter. His paws have gotten fatter. He’ll lick you now and then.

Here’s this thing with energy – crisp, static – while you huddle in your coat.

You lose your fingers in his coat. Both your breaths are fogging. A patch of sun, the night that froze the concrete, nowhere else you need to be. Cold friction of a life. You take a bit of him with you. He’s hair on black trousers.

Suddenly, you like the cold.

Novel Count: 7,500 words

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

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“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” – Jean Cocteau

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Coffee Log, Day 261

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium-Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

I watched someone’s backyard for eight hours yesterday. You could see through the drive-through window at the branch. They had a small shed between trees. The shed had a window on it, though I got the impression that window is never opened.

Across the lawn, the house was propped with scaffolding that hasn’t come down for six months. There’s tiles on the top for a roofing project but maybe these days fixing your roof is the last thing on your mind.

Pretty soon, it started to rain. Cold cloud cover. A marginal fog. The shed light popped like a shipping beacon. Puddles grew in grass. It stayed like that all afternoon – fits and spasms, cold and damp, a hibernating storm. When the cars drove by they’d kick some of the water up so it looked like they were spitting.

My colleagues called it ‘dismal.’ I had to disagree. There’s something about a cold rain that locks you in place. Uncomfortable but preserving. I watched the stranger’s yard in a slow freeze. It was a beautiful thing so I just wanted to share.

Novel Count: 7,262 words

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

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“It was a rainy night. It was the myth of a rainy night.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

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Coffee Log, Day 246

Hi.

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

In between dinner with you I hear the rain. It’s on the roof, the windows. It’s flooding the creek. It sounds like a velvet bag of go pieces. White and black, perfect round, picked up and let back through your fingers. It feels good to drop something and know you can pick it up again.

There’s a white and black cat in the neighborhood, no-one knows her name. She stalks the other cats but strays from people. Once, she let me pet her, but just because it was okay once doesn’t mean it ever will be again. I got home and popped my umbrella. It was cold, wet, windy, the wind tried taking everything from my hands. On the switchback to my second floor apartment, I saw the white and black cat. She was sitting on the rail catching balance. She wasn’t doing a good job of it on account of the rail being slick. It was the least graceful I’ve seen her. Fat paws tossed like woks. I fell in love.

I said: “Kitty!” and “Hey!” It took her attention. Two black eyes, carbon on its way to diamond, the cat threw caution and grace behind her and leapt off the rail to get away. I was a little worried so I looked down. She was fine. Last I saw, she was chasing dry spots in the rain.

Now, in the bedroom, listening to music, I don’t hear the storm.

I had a dream that someone I cared about was being chased. I tried to fight the chaser. My fists were putty and I just kept poking, prodding. They took off anyway. I’m sort of glad I didn’t hurt them. I don’t want to hurt much of anything. I’ll cut the sound and really listen. Autumn; a chill; rainfall; a lullaby.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

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“Amanda took the torn page from Maniac. To her, it was the broken wing of a bird, a pet out in the rain.” – Jerry Spinelli; Maniac Magee

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Coffee Log, Day 239

Hi.

Coffee: Colombian, Starbucks Brand (grocery store bought, a gift)

Whenever I remember taking nighttime walks around Duke’s campus it’s always cold, even if I took the walk in August. Here are a few examples:

  1. A breezy Spring Semester romp through the Engineering campus. I’m bored, lonely, talking on the phone. It’s a weekend, maybe, because there aren’t any students. I see cars come and go from the Divinity school. This part of campus is steep; clean; new. The cafes are closed and I’m disappointed because I’d like to visit. Everything is new to me. I’m a Philosophy major, nobody needs me over here.
  2. The week before my Sophomore or Junior year, I’m passing back and forth over a ditch cut between two dorm buildings. I’m waiting on a woman I’ll often wait for, even many years later and well after she’s no longer waiting for me. We haven’t seen each other since last year and there’s a whole summer’s worth of conversation. We circle Old Chem, pass Perkins library, and spend time admiring the statuary on the Chapel. It’s hot and balmy, but the memory’s like freezer frost. I like to transport myself to that time before some of my most important questions had answers.
  3. This time it’s actually winter. We’ve had a snow. I’m walking late in good company. Couples throwing snowballs, kids taking pictures on second-gen iphones. I’m talking to a friend who’s going to school in Charlotte. We’re both intoxicated on a mutual distaste for parties and alcohol. Underneath me, snow melts like modern glaciers. My hot body, raging at all the wrong parts of the world, but breathing that cold air brilliantly.

I took a walk tonight and before I did I put on a sweater. The first sweater since March. The apartments had gotten dark and I made my usual circuit. Bewitched by the lights of the clubhouse, I took a detour. Our community espresso machine can make a hot chocolate; I hadn’t had one, now I have. It seemed right to baptize the night in unnecessary sweetness. The first Fall evening only happens once a year.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“Some days you get up and you already know that things aren’t going to go well. They’re the type of days when you should just give in, put your pajamas back on, make some hot chocolate and read comic books in bed with the covers up until the world looks more encouraging. Of course, they never let you do that.” – Bill Watterson

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